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ELECTION 2011: Green jobs needed, not more tar sands

Day 34

GREEN JOBS NEEDED: Council of Canadians Board member Dr. John O’Connor writes in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, “The 2011 election campaign is coming to a close and soon we will be making informed decisions on whom we trust to represent our best interests for the next (hopefully) four years. On the South Shore of Nova Scotia, voters are faced with the alarming possibility of another term with Conservative Gerald Keddy. …Having participated this past winter in a fact-finding mission to the EU on the benefits and challenges of a possible CETA, Mr. Keddy should be well aware of concerns in the EU over the tar sands and CETA. …I want to know why Mr. Keddy is not focusing more on keeping Nova Scotians employed at home? The tar sands are similar to the fishing industry — finite and unsustainable if overexploited. Planned increase to tar sands production will likely result in more migration westwards, and more family and social disruption in the Atlantic region.” To read Dr. O’Connor’s full commentary, go to http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1240424.html.

TJN ASKS ABOUT CETA: The Tyee.ca reports, “The Trade Justice Network, a conglomeration of groups concerned about CETA including the Council of Canadians, has sent a questionnaire to each of the leaders asking them where they stand on the agreement with hopes of getting the results by later this week. ‘We know that the NDP is very concerned, more broadly concerned about the agreement than some of the other parties. The Liberals are supportive in principle, but they have some issues around making sure there’s a cultural exception built into CETA as there was in NAFTA that will protect Canada’s cultural industries,’ says (Council of Canadians trade campaigner Stuart) Trew. ‘Bloc Quebecois is looking for a good deal, they’re looking for reciprocity, at least that’s what they said the last time the Trade Justice network met with them last summer. The Green Party is opposed to these kinds of trade deals, always has been; they would like to see a more fair trade agenda, much in the same way the NDP would.'”

CONSERVATIVE HILL ON CETA: In a blog post titled ‘Cartoonish claims by NDP false and ridiculous’, BC Southern Interior Conservative candidate Stephen Hill writes, “Our MP (Alex Atamanenko, wrote a letter) responding to a letter written by a constituent who was concerned about the very expensive, taxpayer-funded mailer sent out by the NDP regarding the Canada-European Union: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). The mailer, sent out a few weeks ago, was, in effect, a copy of comic book material (MP’s words) written about CETA. The mailer supposedly provides 10 reasons why CETA is bad for Canadians. In typical NDP fashion, the reasons given are twisted and amount to nothing more than fear mongering.” To read the popular comic book opposing CETA, go to http://canadians.org/trade/documents/CETA/CETA_ten.pdf.

COMMON FRONTIERS ON TRADE: A media release issued yesterday states, “Since coming to power the minority government of Stephen Harper has vigorously pursued preferential free trade with despots abroad and spared no quarter for democracy at home, says a broad group of Canadian organizations which are demanding a new foreign policy and trade approach by the next government. …Both Common Frontiers-Canada and the Québec Network on Continental Integration believe that free trade agreements modelled after the flawed NAFTA pose an unacceptable risk by diminishing governments’ right to set public policy. …Negotiating free trade agreements with the likes of Colombia, Honduras, and most recently Panama, is sending a signal to the rest of the world that Canada is a country where the pursuit of mining and bank profits trumps human rights.”

COUNCIL OF CANADIANS ADS: In this crucial final week leading up to the federal election, the Council of Canadians is launching an ambitious national ad campaign aimed at reaching more than one million potential voters across Canada, encouraging everyone from students to seniors to get out and vote – for democracy, for the Canada you want! Our first set of ads ran in Tuesday’s Toronto edition of Metro News, a free daily newspaper with a readership of over a half-million people in the Greater Toronto Area. Now we need your help to get this urgent and important message out to voters clear across the country. We need to raise $25,000 in 48 hours to run similar ads this week in the Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto (again!), Winnipeg and Vancouver editions of Metro News as part of a final push to reach more than one million potential voters To see the ad and find out how to donate, go to http://canadians.org/publications/subscribe/enews/2011/election-Apr26.html.

DAVENPORT: The Toronto Star reports the downtown Toronto riding of, “Davenport…is worth watching now — despite having voted in one Liberal after another since 1962. If signs could vote, NDP challenger Andrew Cash, a writer and former recording artist, would be a shoo-in: lawns here are bristling with orange. At a recent community debate, Cash’s calls for dollars for Toronto were greeted with rambunctious cheering. And Liberal incumbent Mario Silva (a member of the House of Commons Trade committee), who has served for seven years, is under attack.”

RED DEER: There will be an all-candidates debate today at 1:30-4:00 p.m. at the Golden Circle, 4620 47A Ave. Questions for candidates will be prepared by organizers at the afternoon forum. Audience questions if time permits. Organized by Council of Canadians (Red Deer chapter), Friends of Medicare and Central Alberta Council on Aging. Council of Canadians Board member Bill Moore-Kilgannon will be the moderator of the debate.

CAMPAIGN BUBBLE: Lots of photos have been sent in showing people blowing bubbles – a way to highlight opposition to Harper’s ‘campaign bubble’ that avoids the Conservative leader meeting with the general public this election. For more, go to http://canadians.org/action/2011/bubbles4democracy.html.

TODAY’S POLL: The Vancouver Province reports, “In the poll conducted for the Toronto Star and Quebec City’s La Presse, Angus Reid had the NDP at 30 per cent, only five percentage points behind the Conservatives. The Liberals received the support of 22 per cent of respondents.” CTV reports, “The most recent Nanos Research poll shows the Tories at 37.8 per cent support nationally, followed by the NDP at 27.8 per cent. The Liberals are in third with 22.3 per cent support.” Toronto Star national affairs columnist Chantal Hebert writes, “To follow the 2011 Liberal election campaign has been like watching a plane crash in slow motion. Even from the sidelines, it has become a stomach-churning experience. One can only imagine how it feels to be sitting in the cockpit as every manoeuvre fails to at least put the campaign back on a level course. ‘The end of the world’ was how one shaken lifelong Liberal insider described his party’s slide to third place behind the NDP this week.”